Pegasus Launch Update
Wed, 3 Mar 1999 01:21:21 EST

They now say NO EARLIER than Thursday night.  If you live in California,
Arizona, parts of Nevada & Utah, you might be able to see it in the sky so if
interested, keep updated via the Florida Today website.  From:

--  Jake Rees

Tuesday, March 2, 1999
Update for 7:15 p.m. EST 
Orbital Sciences and NASA officials late this afternoon determined the next
attempt to launch the Pegasus rocket and WIRE spacecraft will come no earlier
than Thursday night. The launch window remains unchanged: 9:51:50 to 10:01:50
p.m. EST with drop planned at 9:57 p.m. EST (0257 GMT). However, management
will not make the date official until Wednesday. Besides the continued work to
find out why the rudder pin did not retract as planned during the first launch
attempt, a subsequent problem has developed during the helium coolant
servicing to WIRE's hydrogen cryostat, NASA launch manager Ray Lugo says. The
spacecraft team is working to resolve the glitch. 

Meanwhile, engineers troubleshooting the rudder problem believe a guide
bushing on the pin somehow worked itself loose, imparted a side force to the
pin and preventing its retraction. The reason for the bushing coming loose,
however, is still an unknown. "We know what happened, now we want to know why
it happened," Lugo said. One possibility under investigation is the recent
modifications to the rudder box of the L-1011 that was done to support carrier
flights for the X-34 vehicle, Lugo said. The rudder box change may have
created a new environment that caused the bushing problem. 

-Justin Ray